Rawl's Difference Principle example

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Rawl's Difference Principle

The difference principle by Rawls is meant to facilitate the creation of an egalitarian society where there is equal distribution of resources. The equal distribution is to ensure levelness between disadvantaged members of the society and the affluent. In terms of resource distribution, the principle emphasized that no disparity should exist. The only allowed difference is in the context of efficiency. Rawls suggests that a new structure should be adopted in the society to favor the less fortunate. This structure allows the creation of a situation where the rich don’t get richer while the poor continue to wallow in adverse poverty. For such a situation to occur, wealth has to be redistributed from the wealthy to the disadvantaged.

The distribution principle governs the distribution of wealth in a just manner, and in both social and political domains. Rawls identifies the problem as inequality in distribution of resources (Rawls, p.18). As members of a democracy, for us to label our judgments as justifiable, we have to provide a respite from the problem of distributive inequality. Distributive equality is meant to work to the advantage of the less fortunate. However, Rawls’ theory does not necessarily imply that the disparity between the affluent and least advantaged must narrow or widen; it simply emphasizes that the primary goods of each party should increase. Critics argue that the difference principle supports the growth of the less fortunate at the expense of the well-off, but in essence, that is not the case. The major aim is the increase in primary goods and therefore, it is a win-win for both parties; there is mutual advantage. The difference principle is simply Rawls’s appendage to his theory of fairness and equality of opportunity.

Equality of opportunity ensures that social goods work for the benefit of both the affluent and the less advantaged. When social goods are equally shared, even when the affluent profit more from the goods, the less fortunate will still benefit from the gains. Rawls’s difference principle does not insist on the diminishing of the affluent to the level of the least advantaged: it would be impossible to level the prospects of every individual in the society (Rawls, p. 64). However, since the wealthy are more exposed to opportunities and hence, more disposed to gaining from social goods, the society should be socially and economically crafted to benefit the less fortunate (Rawls, p. 302) Critics argue that the difference principle suggests that the affluent give up their wealth to the least advantaged. This argument, however, is proof of their misunderstanding of the principle and what it stands for. Rawls provides a legitimate argument for shunning social and economic inequalities. This argument places the society in the positions of a common enterprise where the members can gain in one way or another, from the diverse abilities of other members.

According to the ideas presented by the difference principle, the least …

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